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Meet Irv Elson

Rabbi Irving Elson has been a member of Congregation Har Shalom since coming to the Washington, D.C. area to work at the Pentagon. Rabbi Elson, a native of Mexico City, earned his undergraduate degree at Yeshiva University and his rabbinic ordination at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He spent most of his rabbinate as a chaplain in the United States Navy and Marines, where he ascended to the rank of Captain (highest ranking Jewish chaplain in all of the U.S. Armed Forces). Upon retirement, Rabbi Elson became the Head of the Jewish Chaplains Council and the Director of Armed Forces and Veterans Services at the Jewish Welfare Board. He spends his time recruiting rabbis to serve in the armed forces and veterans affairs chaplaincies. Rabbi Elson also directs professional training conferences and lay leadership workshops, and advises the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs on matters of Jewish welfare in the Armed Forces and at Veterans Hospitals. When not at Har Shalom, Rabbi Elson is often visiting U.S. Armed Forces bases and installations worldwide. We are blessed that Rabbi Elson leads the parallel traditional service on the High Holidays, and is often available to speak, teach, and provide support to the Har Shalom clergy. He is married to Fran, a teacher in the Sherman Early Childhood Center, and together they have a son and two daughters.


Tue, June 18 2024 12 Sivan 5784